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Repair on an old pin

Hi all,

I had an older sterling silver pin that I repaired. Yeah me! One of
the solder joins had broken off where the leaf attached to the stem.
It was an “easy” repair. My instructor’s pickle was down for the
count, so she had me soak this piece and a couple of other pieces
overnight in white vinegar.

The next morning, the pin had copper-plated itself. The only thing I
can think of is that there was some kind of metal contamination in
the old solder, perhaps? (I cleaned the area that I repaired
thoroughly, but it still had the original solder around the pin
back.) The funny thing is that was the only piece out of three that
had a copper deposit.

My question is this, how can I go about removing the copper? The
front of the leaf has some nice etched detailing, which I’d hate to
lose if I had to sand the dickens out of it. It’s not a valuable
piece, just sentimental. And if I can’t return it to a silver glean,
then I’ll wear it as a copper wonder. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your help,
Tracy
Tracy’s Treasures

Perhaps iron contamination in the pickle? (maybe from the pin back?)

Margaret

Hi Tracy,

Connoisseurs makes a silver cleaner that will cure the problem in 10
seconds for you. I don’t know why it works but it has saved my butt
several times with work that cannot be polished in tight areas.
(silver and gold) You want the grey jar & don’t leave anything in it
for more than a minute. Not good for pearls. Rinse it very well.

http://www.connoisseurs.com/jewelry_cleaning/silver_cleaner.html

Try it you’ll like it,

Mark

Tracy,

If there is detail you do not want to loose, do not sand or polish
the piece to remove the copper coating.

First thing to try would be to gently reheat the piece and then
Pickle in fresh Pickle. The Pickle you used most likely was what
caused the problem.

This very well may help but if it doesn’t then you may want to
Rhodium Plate the piece.

Good Luck
Greg DeMark
Longmont, Colorado
email: greg@demarkjewelry.com
Website: www.demarkjewelry.com
Custom Jewelry - Handmade Jewelry - Antique Jewelry

This is an easy one. Put enough pickle into a small dish to cover
the pin. Pour in drug store peroxide. I use the glug glug method of
measuring this. You should see small bubbles within a minute. Stand
there and watch it. This is a very strong pickle and will etch away
solder joints if the item is left in it too long. All of the pink
should disappear. The pin will probably need buffing or brush
brushing afterwards.

marilyn smith

Hi Tracy

I’m not sure how to post on this forum. But I have done the same
thing before. I have boiled the piece in hydrogen peroxide and it
will come off. There was proably steel in the pin finding on the
back and when you put it into a pickle that is saturated with copper
from pickling silver. The copper molucles get electroplated to the
piece. Try this and see if it helps, it is just your regular
percentage peroxide you get from the drug store.

Deanna

Connoisseurs makes a silver cleaner that will cure the problem in
10 seconds for you. I don't know why it works but it has saved my
butt several times with work that cannot be polished in tight
areas. (silver and gold) You want the grey jar & don't leave
anything in it for more than a minute.  Not good for pearls.  Rinse
it very well.

I haven’t used this silver cleaner but have heard of products that I
believe are probably similar. My father tells me that back when his
father was selling jewellery at his optometry practice he used to
use something called “silver dip” to brighten silver jewellery. I
have also seen something that looks to perform the same task in the
catalogue for my local jewellers supply.

I’ve never tried it though as I don’t know anything about how it
works or what purposes it is intended for. Can anyone shed any
light on what the solution contains and how it reacts with the
metal? Also, is this meant to clean in the same way as acid would
clean the surface of metal up or is it meant to give a polished
finish?

Also, how does the finish this solution creates compare to the
finish you would get by buffing a piece?